Saral wrote in to ask: Could you please explain the animation terms cushion and settle?
These terms are used almost interchangeably, and mostly they just refer to how a character's movement is going to come to a stop.
Cushion is pretty much the same as "ease in" or "slow-in," animation terms used to describe the way a character will "ease" into a pose or "slow" into a pose. You could also say that a character should "cushion" into a pose - it's pretty much the same thing, as far as I know.
The point of those terms, by the way, is to help sell the organic nature of the character or object. Very few things in nature come to an instant stop on a dime, mostly things more in organic arcs and need time to "cushion" into the final position of their movement. For example, if you were walking quickly and came to a stop, no matter how hard you try to stop instantly, you simply cannot do it. Your body is going to have to recover from the movement and part of that is going to be easing into that final stopped pose (and probably going THROUGH that final pose into an overshoot, and then arcing and overlapping back into the final pose).
"Settle," to me, is very similar. I hear people use that term to describe all of those little overshoots and arcs that eventually run out of steam and lead to the character being still. Picture again someone coming to a stop. Well, their hips are going to keep going until their weight and angle of their body slows them down. The hips will probably sail right through that "stopped" pose and go a little too far before your body says "hey hips! Come back here!" The hips are then going to arc back and go into a bit of tiny spiral that will eventually get them into a stopped position.
Force and general body mechanics tell us exactly what will happen next, which will be a subtle wave action through the spine, causing overlap on the arms, successive breaking of joints going all the way down to the wrists, probably a bit of overlap on the head, etc. - all moving in related arcs in multiple axis, though offset from one another, and so forth.
To me, all of that "stuff" that is happening - all of that is the "settling" of the character.
Other folks might use these terms differently, but those are the ways I've heard them used around the studio. Hope that helps!
Thanks for writing in!